Puffin

18/06/2012
Puffins are easy to photograph when they land but their fast flight is an altogether different challenge. I spent two nights on Skomer with the objective of getting some in flight images. Fortunately, puffins usually make several circuits and attempted landings before they return to their burrows. By carefully following individual birds, I was able predict their landing places and position myself accordingly. Their approach is too fast for autofocus to lock on but in order to land, puffins stall mid air. For a fraction of a second, the camera can freeze the action and grab a sharp image. Which leaves one big question - how can they catch and simultaneously hold so many sand eels?